Feb. 9 – Taiwan has approved plans to build a bridge from the Taiwan-held Kinmen group of islands to the mainland reflecting improving relations between the two.
The 5.3 kilometer bridge will begin in Kinmen proper spanning to neighboring Little Kinmen and the mainland at a total cost of US$178 million when it is finished in 2016. The area was once the site of the Battle of the Taiwan Strait which left 439 Taiwanese soldiers dead and 1,870 injured when Chinese military heavily bombarded the islands 60 years ago.
“The bridge that has now been approved can be seen as a part of the project to connect with the mainland,” Kinmen county magistrate Lee Wuo-tu said in a statement. Since Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008, the government has taken a more China-friendly stance expanding trade relations and allowing direct flights to the mainland.
An official with the county government told AFP that the bridge has boosted the possibility of constructing a bridge between Little Kinmen and Southeast China’s Xiamen.